EASSC Publications


Western River Civilization and the Logic of China’s Strategic Behavior

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter


This chapter addresses the geographic imbalance of China’s development. Whilst the coastal provinces are developing and looking outward, those of central and western China are underdeveloped and inwardly focused. This disparity is a Chinese domestic strategic priority that, if unaddressed, threatens to destabilise China and the international system. The chapter nevertheless argues that China is historically a western rivers civilisation that is capable of surmounting—and indeed compelled to overcome—the imbalance. The chapter employs unique Chinese methods and concepts of international relations, history and culture to depict a quintessentially Chinese—rather than Western—strategic approach.


Journal, Book or Conference Title

China's Strategic Priorities




Jonathan H. Ping and Brett McCormick

Publication Details

Author information:

Su Hao is a Professor in the Department of Diplomacy at China Foreign Affairs University. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in History and International Relations at Beijing Normal University, and his Ph.D. in International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University. He completed post-doctoral study at the University of London and was a Fulbright scholar at Columbia University and at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published books and articles on China’s foreign policy, security issues, international relations in the Asia-Pacific region, and East Asia cooperation. Professor Su is a Director of the East Asia Security Centre.

Cui Yue received a M.A. from the University of Hawaii and a Ph.D. from China Foreign Affairs University. She is currently a lecturer at China-Australia Center, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Faculty of Society and Design at Bond University. She specialises in the study of middle power diplomacy and Australian foreign policy.



Start Page


End Page


This document is currently not available here.



This document has been peer reviewed.